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Lexington loses a Legend in the horse community

a woman in a yellow outfit standing at a fence
Photo NYRA

In Memory of Marylou Whitney

Marylou Whitney, beloved philanthropist and hostess within the horse racing community, died in July at the age of 93 at her Cady Hill estate in Saratoga, NY.

a woman in a yellow outfit standing at a fence
Photo NYRA

In 2010, Marylou was the recipient of the Eclipse Award of Merit for her work in the thoroughbred industry. Whitney will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in early August. The New York Times described her as a “tireless society hostess [and] patron of the arts.” Her Derby Eve parties were as legendary as those of Anita Madden (who died last year), though their entertaining style could not have been more different.

“Marylou Whitney embodied all of the best qualities of the sport to which she devoted her time, heart, and resources. From her exceptional philanthropy to her innovative mind and indelible spirit, she was a champion of excellence in every endeavor she graced,” said Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, in a statement released shortly after her death.

Her legacy will be remembered not only through her horse racing career, but her charitable contributions to Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital and cancer care at UK HealthCare. In Lexington, she was also an avid supporter of the Headley-Whitney Museum, founded by her sister-in-law Barbara Whitney and Barbara’s husband, George Headley.

This article also appears on page 7 of the August 2019 print edition of Ace Weekly.

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